MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s top diplomat said on Friday that the United States would send 2.7 million doses of the unused AstraZeneca vaccine next week, confirming ongoing questions about whether Mexico had agreed to close its southern border.
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard said. “There are people who ask me, ‘What did they get in exchange?’
Ebrard suggested that instead of getting vaccines rather than quid-pro-quo, Mexico’s desire to vaccinate was more of a concern for the United States, including an increase in migrants reaching the southern border through Mexico.
“More than thinking that with each step we will negotiate something for something else, what we are doing forms a very good medium-term partnership,” Ebrard said in a video message.
Earlier, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said, “I owe special thanks to President Biden for this, noting that Mexico has already received vaccines from Russia and China.
Ebrard said at least some of the new US doses will be used as second shots for older people who have already received AstraZeneca vaccines. While AstraZeneca has not yet been approved for use in the United States, which has reserves, Mexico has already confirmed և started using it.
Officials said on Thursday that the US shipment would include 2.5 million doses.
Mexico has struggled to get enough vaccines and has so far taken only 5 million doses, which is almost equivalent to 4% of its population.
Mexico on Thursday announced travel restrictions on its southern border with Guatemala և Belize “to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” Ebrard’s department did not explain why the measure was announced now, more than a year after the outbreak.
Mexico’s Assistant Secretary of Health Hugo Lopez-Gatel said on Thursday that the country’s decision was made due to an increase in the number of migrants from Central America.
“There has been a noticeable increase in local inflows, particularly from Central America,” Lopez-Gatel said in response to a question about the extent of time constraints.
Mexico և The United States has long imposed such restrictions on the northern border of Mexico. But in the past, Mexico did not want to impose them on the southern border or most of the flights entering Mexico.
The restrictions coincide with a huge increase in the number of Central American migrants reaching the US border via Mexico. The number of migrants trying to cross the US border has been rising since April, from 100,441 last month, the highest level since March 2019.